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History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings
news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site.
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historical fiction writer I am fascinated by news stories featuring the
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Great Guns on Alderney! The Alderney Elizabethan Shipwreck Gives Up its Guns
It has taken over 400 years but soon the Tower of London is going to get some of its guns back. On May 25, archaeologists will begin work on the recovery of cannon from a sunken Elizabethan ship that went down off the coast of Alderney in the Channel Islands in 1592.
Oxford, UK (PRWEB) -- Great guns on Alderney! It has taken over 400 years but soon the Tower of London is going to get some of its guns back. On May 25, archaeologists will begin work on the recovery of cannon from a sunken Elizabethan ship that went down off the coast of Alderney in the Channel Islands in 1592. The Duke of York is behind the work that aims to conserve, replicate and test-fire the weapons found on this important wreck.
Excavation director Mensun Bound of St Peter's College, Oxford, says, "We are not just bringing up cannon, but also muskets, grenades, swords, rapiers, body armour and helmets. This was a ship that was supplying an English army fighting in France to prevent a second Armada-style invasion by Spain."
What the archaeologists are most interested in is a cannon with a number of items cemented to it as a concretion, including a helmet and a ceramic hand grenade. The grenade was an incendiary device that shattered on impact spreading napalm-like fire over a ship.
Sir Norman Browse, the president of Alderney and the Chairman of the Alderney Maritime Trust that oversees the project, says, "This is not going to be an easy job. The wreck is sitting in soft sand in 30 metres of water in what we call the Swinge, possibly the most notorious stretch of water in the entire Channel. The team can only dive at slack water; a tiny window of just 40 minutes a time. For this reason the team will also have to work at nights." Thankfully, due to the generosity of the A scientific diving ship in Belgium is currently bunkering up for the 30 hr voyage down the Channel to Alderney. All being well they will begin the lift during the week commencing May 26.